Lord Stanley: the inhabitant on the balcony

by Katrin Batje

One day at the end of August 2018, the Thursday “off day group” brought back a tiny rabbit. An odd fellow on Gabriola Island ordered them to take him home and take care of him. Obedient as they were, they brought him back to Glenora Farm and he ended up on the balcony of the Big House. They named him Stanley.

For some strange reason, for weeks and weeks a rabbit cage sat in front of Bo’s workshop, the perfect home for little Stanley. Although I never in my wildest dreams thought of taking care of a rabbit, I must admit he was so very cute and everybody loved to cuddle and pet him. When he grew out of his cage, the balcony itself became his living space, shared with raccoons and two neighborhood cats.

The cats became close friends with Stanley and it was funny to see how the rabbit tried to imitate the cats. During the winter Stanley enjoyed the snow that flew onto the balcony. He easily could have freed himself (we know because his animal visitors all squeezed right through the gate!), but life on the balcony was good enough for him. When one of the cats became pregnant, the relationship with Stanley became even closer and it became clear that she would have her litter on the balcony, so we prepared a box. One day at the end of March, we had three kittens in the box and Stanley became a caring part of the little family.

If mom was gone he would keep the kittens warm and clean them. He became Uncle Stanley. He defended the kittens from the raccoons and kept them from falling down the balcony. His loving care and friendship was endless and many, many visitors big and small were in awe of the little family. Having been skeptical in having a rabbit on the balcony I must admit that the last months were lovely for me to observe animal friendship.

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